Southern Rhodesian independence referendum, 1964

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A referendum on independence was held in Southern Rhodesia on 5 November 1964. The question put to voters was "Are you in favour of or against Southern Rhodesia obtaining independence on the basis of the 1961 Constitution of Southern Rhodesia. The vote was restricted to the white minority population of Southern Rhodesia. Ian Smith called a meeting with tribe leaders but this was not considered representative of the majority black population as the tribal leaders were in the pay of Ian Smith’s Government. [1] The result was a landslide for the "yes" vote, which was the choice of over 90% of voters. The following year, Ian Smith's government made a Unilateral Declaration of Independence, making the country a de facto independent state until returning to British colonial rule in 1979 following the Lancaster House Agreement.The British Government did not accept Southern Rhodesian independence as the referendum was not representative of all of Southern Rhodesia.

Voter turnout was 61.9%.[2]


Choice Votes %
For 58,176 90.51
Against 6,101 9.49
Invalid/blank votes 965
Total 65,242 100
Registered voters/turnout 105,444 61.87
Source: African Elections Database


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Elections in Zimbabwe African Elections Database